Teng Chang Yeow should “fight policy to policy”, rather than divert from his own promises

Joint press conference statement by Chow Kon Yeow, Liew Chin Tong and Zairil Khir Johari on 6th June 2012 in Komtar, George Town, Penang:

Teng Chang Yeow must not evade questions about his own policy proposals, otherwise how can the public trust that his words mean anything and that he is able to carry out what he promises?

Just into the second month as Barisan Nasional Penang chief, Teng Chang Yeow has apparently given up on his greatest idea – restoring the free port status for Penang.

On 8th May 2012, Teng Chang Yeow announced on his facebook page that, “I had disclosed to most Chinese media that I will make known my plan for Penang between 10-14 days. Stay tune (sic) with my Facebook’s posting tomorrow.”

On 27th May 2012, Teng wrote on his facebook page that, “We will fight policy to policy, ideals to ideals (sic) with the PR Government instead of insulting and harping on the (Pakatan Rakyat) pact’s failures.”

Teng Chang Yeow has so far announced the following: a) to turn Penang Island into a free port; b) to create an International Financial District; c) to create an Innovation Dynamo Park; d) to create an aquaculture hub; and e) to replace the manufacturing industry with the services sector.

Two days ago, he diverted from his own agenda and started a new series of topics, namely, press freedom, transportation and housing.

The DAP is ready to “fight policy to policy”, to use Chang Yeow’s own words, on each of the items he raised, whether in the first batch or second batch. But Teng Chang Yeow must not evade fundamental questions about his policy proposals.

There are five questions for Chang Yeow:

  1. Is his free port proposal permanently submerged after Hilmi Yahya, Teng Hock Nan and Tan Cheng Liang – the Team B of Penang Barisan Nasional – announced their proposal for a CIQ (customs, immigration and quarantine) complex in the port’s area?
  2. Are there two Penang BNs under 1Malaysia, and three proposals for the Penang Port – Teng’s free port, Hilmi-Teng Hock Nan’s CIQ and Syed Mokhtar-Chua Soi Lek’s privatization plan?
  3. Chang Yeow has not replied if he is aware that the Cabinet has endorsed the award of Penang Port privatization to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar, and whether such a move would permanently stifle Penang’s economy?
  4. Chang Yeow is predicating his policy proposals on the basis that manufacturing has peaked in Penang. Is this how he view Penang’s future and does he endorse the view that there are “too many factories in Penang”?
  5. Chang Yeow has not responded to either our request for the Federal Government to honour its promises for Penang’s public transportation or our proposal to decentralise transport governance. (See appendix)

There is no point for Teng Chang Yeow to make new announcements if he cannot even defend his own first batch of ideas after being sabotaged by the Team B of Hilmi, Teng Hock Nan and Tan Cheng Liang.

If he cannot even defend his own ideas against his internal opponents, how will Chang Yeow protect Penang’s interests from those trying to take advantage of her?

Chow Kon Yeow is MP for Tanjong and State Exco for Local Government and Traffic

Liew Chin Tong is MP for Bukit Bendera

Zairil Khir Johari is Political Secretary to the DAP Secretary-General


As far as the governance of transportation, short-term rearrangements and long-term reorganisations of governing structure is required. Penang State Government commissions a Transport Master Plan study and to look into the overarching transport planning for Penang. The consultant proposed both long term and short term strategies. Some proposals require the cooperation and commitment from the Federal Government as follows:

Mode of transportShort-term rearrangement
Long-term reorganisation after the change of Federal Government
 Port, ferry The Penang State Government has offered to buy the Penang Port as well as the ferry services. Penang Port and ferry services shall be managed by the Penang State Government.
 Buses/public transport 1. Federal Government should honour its words to deliver 200 new buses to Rapid Penang as promised in the 10th Malaysia Plan in June 2010.2. Rapid Penang should accept directors nominated by the Penang State Government like it was when Barisan Nasional was running the State.3. The Penang State Government has requested for a total of 800 buses to be provided to Rapid Penang instead of the currently 350 buses.4. The Federal Government must explain the status of the previously promised Monorail.5. State Government has implemented first Park and Ride Scheme in Malaysia. Federal Government can provide incentives to State that implement such schemes. 1. The regulatory power of buses and other mode of public transport should be devolved to the Penang State Government.2. All bus routes planning should be under the State and Local authority.
 Taxi 1. SPAD (Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam) needs implement taxi metre system in Penang.2. A natural gas station should be built as soon as possible on the Island. Licensing and fare structure should be governed by the Penang State Government and not by remote control from Kuala Lumpur/Putrajaya.
 Bridge 1. Shares of the Penang Bridge originally owned by the Penang State Government shall be returned to the State.2. Toll rates collected from the Penang Bridge must not be used to subsidise other privatised road projects.3. Penang Bridge Authority should consider to add Bus lanes in the first bridge after the completion of 2nd Bridge. 1. The regulation, management and governance of the two Penang Bridges shall be vested in the Penang State Government.
 Roads 1. All pending road works by the Federal Government should be completed without delay, especially the long overdue Teluk Kumbar-Genting upgrade and the Second Bridge Dispersal roads of P27 Batu Maung to Penang Bridge and FT 3113 connecting Tun Lim Chong Eu Expressway.2. The Sungai Nyoir toll shall be abolished with immediate effect by the Federal Government.3. The Federal Government must state the status of the previously promised Penang Outer Ring Roads. All roads in Penang should be entirely manage by the Penang State Government with adequate funding from the federal coffer and the right to borrow to finance infrastructure projects.

Malaysia needs a complete overhaul of its governing structure. This is our modest attempt to define a different future for transportation in Penang.

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